As the season changes so may some of our health and safety concerns.
Fall is here and the days are getting shorter. With less hours of daylight, many of us may get less physical activity. We may also spend more time snacking in front of the television, or eating bigger meals as the festive season gets underway. The beginning of fall also signals the start of cold and flu season. Our children are back in school or daycare, which is not only a change in routine, but can also increase the chances of spreading germs.
As our regular routines and activities change, so will our health concerns. Having the information you need to take care of yourself and your family and to continue to eat healthy and stay active is important. Learn how to stay safe and healthy this fall.
Back to School
For information about how to help your child stay safe and learn healthy lifestyle habits this school year, visit our Back To School health feature.
Learn what you can do to make sure you stay safe as the temperature drops.
- Cold Exposure: Ways the Body Loses Heat
- Cold Temperature Exposure
- Dry Skin and Itching
- Hypothermia and Cold Temperature Exposure
The flu is an infection of the upper airway caused by an influenza virus. Every year there is a period of time where there are more outbreaks of the flu, this is called flu season. For more information about the flu and flu season, visit our Influenza (Flu) Season health feature.
There is a lot of fun to be had during the Halloween season, but it is also important that you keep your family safe and healthy. Get tips on how to stay safe while still enjoying the festivities of the season.
- Added Sugars
- Food Safety: Following the Package Instructions
- Choking Prevention in Small Children
- Tooth Decay
For more information related to health and safety during the Halloween season, visit the Government of Canada – Halloween safety or HealthyFamiliesBC’s blog posts Frightfully-Fun Halloween Give Outs and A Healthy Hallowe’en.
Spending more time indoors and at home might make you open that refrigerator more often. Get tips on how to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle this fall.
- Healthy Eating Guidelines For Lower Sodium (Salt) Eating
- Heart Healthy Tips for Celebrations
- Healthy Snacks for Adults (HealthLinkBC File #68i)
- Meal and Snack Ideas for Your 1 to 3 Year Old Child (HealthLinkBC File #69e)
- Lighten Up Your Holiday Recipes
For additional healthy eating information or advice you can also call 8-1-1 to speak with a registered dietitian or Email a HealthLinkBC Dietitian.
Indoor Air Quality
With shorter daylight hours and colder outdoor temperatures, you will likely be spending more time indoors. Learn about indoor air quality and how to stay safe.
- Indoor Air Quality (HealthLinkBC File #65a)
- Indoor Air Quality: Mould and Other Biological Contaminants (HealthLinkBC File #65b)
- Indoor Air Quality: Combustion By-products (HealthLinkBC File #65c)
- Indoor Air Quality: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) (HealthLinkBC File #65d)
Make sure to test your carbon monoxide detectors regularly, and replace the batteries every 6 months. An easy way to remember is to change the batteries when you set the clock back (in the fall) or forward (in the spring).
Changes in routine, staying indoors more and getting less exercise can affect your mental health. Shorter days, especially when we set the clocks back for daylight saving time, mean getting less sunshine.
Pollen, molds, dust mites and other allergens all cause fall seasonal allergies. Learn about seasonal allergies, including triggers, symptoms and home treatment.
- Allergic Rhinitis
- Allergies: Avoiding Outdoor Triggers
- Allergies: Should I take Allergy Shots?
- Hay Fever and Other Seasonal Allergies
- Over-the-Counter Medicines for Allergies
- Severe Allergic Reaction (Anaphylaxis)
Don’t let the dark and cold nights keep you from staying active. Physical activity is a key factor in keeping you and your family healthy.
- Fitness: Adding More Activity to Your Life
- Quick Tips: Getting Active as a Family
- Quick Tips: Getting Active at Home
- Quick Tips: Staying Active in Cold Weather
For more physical activity information or advice you can also call 8-1-1 to speak with a qualified exercise professional or Email Physical Activity Services.
When to Take Antibiotics
Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria and can treat infections such as strep throat or sinus infections. They do not work against illnesses caused by a virus such as the common cold or the flu. Learn more about when you should and shouldn’t use antibiotics.
- Bronchitis: Should I take Antibiotics?
- Ear Infection: Should I Give My Child Antibiotics?
- Prescription Medicines - Antibiotics
- Sinusitis: Should I Take Antibiotics?
- Sore Throat: Should I Take Antibiotics?
- Using Antibiotics Wisely
For more information about using antibiotics, visit BC Centre for Disease Control – Do Bugs Needs Drugs?
ImmunizeBC works to improve the health of British Columbians and reduce the number of infections by vaccine-preventable diseases by providing information on immunizations to individuals, families and health care providers. They also provide tools to make it easier for B.C. families to get immunized.
- A Parent’s Guide to Vaccination (PDF 1.72 MB)
- Get immunization reminders by text message!
Last Reviewed: September 2018